Kansas City won the AFC West four seasons in a row. At this point, only injuries and a monstrous Super Bowl hangover can derail the Chiefs in a weak division. Oddsmakers at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas list Kansas City at 2/7 odds to win the soft AFC West for a fifth-straight season.
Kansas City locked up Patrick Mahomes with a lucrative 10-year deal that’s worth a half-billion dollars. The scary thing about Mahomes is that he’s still getting better, and has yet to reach his full potential.
Andy Reid and Kansas City won the AFC West four seasons in a row. They achieved that feat with a 12-4 record three times. Since Mahomes took over at starting QB, the Chiefs are 24-8 in the regular season and 4-1 in the postseason, with a victory in the 2020 Super Bowl.
2020 AFC WEST ODDS
Kansas City Chiefs 2/7
Denver Broncos 8/1
Las Vegas Raiders 8/1
Los Angeles Chargers 10/1
The Westgate SuperBook lists Kansas City as one of the co-favorites to win the 2021 Super Bowl at 5/1 odds (along with the Baltimore Ravens).
The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are both 40/1 odds to win the Super Bowl, followed by the LA Chargers at 50/1 odds.
KC Again, Easy Second Half
The AFC West plays the AFC East this season, which means Kansas City has two easy games against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, but two challenging opponents with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
Kansas City faces two tough opponents early in the season. In Week 3, they fly out to Baltimore to face Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in a potential preview of the AFC Championship game. Then, in Week 4, Kansas City hosts Bill Belichick and the Patriots, who will be without Tom Brady.
Kansas City also has a tough matchup in Week 15 when they head down to the Superdome to square off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
The Super Bowl champs have a bye week in Week 10. Aside from the Saints game in New Orleans, Kansas City could finish the back end of their season with a 6-1 record.
At 2/7 odds to ship the AFC West, Kansas City is the one team that oddsmakers think will have the easiest path to a division crown.
Lock Time in Denver, Rough Schedule
John Elway struggled to find someone to replace Peyton Manning. He whiffed on Joey Flacco. Right now, Drew Lock might be the guy. As a rookie, Lock filled in for an injured Flacco and looked good at times last season. In five games as a starter, Lock went 4-1 with a lone loss against Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. Lock tossed seven touchdowns and three interceptions, but didn’t throw a pick in his last two games.
At least the Broncos have three strong running backs with Melvin Gordon, Philip Lindsay, and Royce Freeman.
Denver begins the season with five not-so-easy games. The Broncos face the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football to start the season. In Week 2, they head to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers on only six-days of rest. In Week 3, the Broncos host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs in Denver. Even though the Broncos meet the New York Jets in Week 4, it will be during a short week for a Thursday Night Football road game.
If those first four games aren’t challenging enough, the Broncos have to play the Patriots on the road in Foxboro in Week 5.
The Broncos get some relief with a home game against Miami in Week 6. However, in Week 7, they host Kansas City and Mahomes. If the Broncos are lucky, they’ll head into their bye week with a 2-5 record. If they get caught sleepwalking against the Jets, they could begin the season with a 1-6 record.
The Denver Broncos are 8/1 long shots to win the AFC West.
Sin City Raiders, Rivers-less Chargers
It’s sad that the Raiders left Oakland (again). But if there’s one city that they could relocate to without skipping a beat, it’s Las Vegas. The NFL should’ve let Mark Davis rebrand the team as the Sin City Raiders. It sounds way more bad-ass.
The Raiders finally have a brand new stadium, something that the legendary Al Davis had been searching for since the late 1970s. But even with a new stadium, they will still be challenged with stopping Mahomes and Kansas City. The Raiders come into their first season in Sin City with 8/1 odds to win the AFC West.
For the first time since 2005, the Chargers will have a fresh face under center. Phillip Rivers signed with the Indianapolis Colts this season, which could be his last before he pivots into high school coaching.
The durable Rivers didn’t miss a game over the last 14 seasons. He suited up for all 16 regular-season games since 2005. The LA Chargers drafted QB Justin Herbert out of Oregon. For now, Tyrod Taylor has been penciled in by head coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers also lost running back, Melvin Gordon to the Broncos in free agency.
AFC West Dominance
The top team in the AFC West tends to have a long stretch of dominance in the division. Since 2000, four teams won the division at least three seasons in a row. In addition, three teams won the AFC West in four consecutive seasons.
The Oakland Raiders kicked off the new century with three consecutive division titles. Bill Callahan guided the Raiders to a berth in Super Bowl XXXVII, but lost to ex-Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s Tampa Bay Bucs.
Over the last decade, two teams dominated the AFC West: Denver and Kansas City.
- Oakland Raiders: 2000, 2001, 2002
- San Diego Chargers: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
- Denver Broncos: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Kansas City Chiefs: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
The Denver Broncos won five straight division titles between 2011 and 2015. During the front end of the 2010s, the Broncos appeared in two Super Bowls with a victory in Super Bowl 50 marking Peyton Manning’s final season.
In the last four seasons, Kansas City emerged as the team to beat. The past two seasons saw Patrick Mahomes at the helm. In 2019, Kansas City ran the table in the playoffs with two impressive come-from-behind wins engineered by Mahomes.